Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

Who needs the veto?

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has become hostage to the promise he made during last year’s election campaign. He promised Poles 300 billion zlotys from the next EU budget. To make it all look credible, he did it in a company of Foreign Minister and two Poles playing the most important roles in the EU structures. The time to settle accounts with him on the promise is coming. And I believe it will not be easy.

The Prime Minister is facing a doubly difficult situation. The battle for the new financial perspective is particularly severe for two reasons – the European economy is stagnating and the United Kingdom wants to pay less and receive the same amount as before. In general, those who are net contributors certainly do not intend to pay more. Another factor complicating the negotiations is the appetite of the small new states. It will be difficult for them to take more money, as they do quite well and there is simply not much to be taken.

There is therefore a serious chance that we will not get those promised 300 billion.

In this situation the Law and Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski is putting the Prime Minister against the wall saying that the budget should be vetoed. Meaning that in extremely difficult circumstances Poland is adding another hot potato to a long list of problems. The veto only apparently defends the Polish interest. If there is no money, the provisional budget from seven years ago will be dead and Poland will gain a reputation of a selfish troublemaker.

If the famous promise had not been made, the amount of for example 290 billion would not be a cause for shame. But it was made and today it hampers Poland in the negotiations.

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